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Posted: 2/23/2006 10:16:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2006 10:19:17 AM EDT by 95thFoot]
"If it's not Scottish, then it's......"

Scots super-regiment to be kitted out in foreign kilts
LAURA ROBERTS

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=278112006
Soldiers from the Black Watch. Some fear the new amalgamated regiment faces wearing 'embarrassingly' poorly made tartans to save money.
Picture: Chris Young/PA


Key points
• Cut-price kilts for new Scots regiment
• Army lowers standards in search of savings
• Worries over poorly-made kit for troops is high

Key quote
"The kilts are clearly going to be sub-standard. Now there will be different cuts and shades on parades and it will be an embarrassment. The ceremonial Scottish wear of kilts and trews should absolutely be made in Scotland." - Jeremy Purvis, Borders MSP

Story in full
THE British Army has lowered the standards required of ceremonial kilts for the new amalgamated Scots regiment so that they may be manufactured from cheap tartan made abroad, a move critics say could lead to poorly made outfits.

Borders weavers Robert Noble has produced the tartan for the ceremonial kilts worn by Scottish regiments for 150 years.

But in an effort to drive down costs, the Ministry of Defence has announced it is putting the contract to produce tartan for the amalgamated Royal Regiment of Scotland up for tender.

It is also lowering the standards of the tartan's quality to allow other companies producing cheaper, lower-grade cloth to compete against the expertise of Borders textile companies.

The MoD has launched a competitive tender allowing any manufacturers to compete for the contract of 5,000 kilts, estimated to be worth £300,000, for the new regiment.

Previously, only a few firms in Scotland could produce woven woollen cloth to the high standards required, but the MoD has lowered standards so more firms can compete at lower prices.

Jeremy Purvis, a Borders MSP, said the MoD cost-cutting was misguided.

"This is about the standard of cloth provided. It is an insult to the company that has been providing it for over 100 years," he said.

The MSP also said the MoD's attitude and insensitivity towards the contract was a worrying reflection on attitudes towards the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. He added: "I hope very much it is not, but the way they have behaved in this incident does give that indication.

"The kilts are clearly going to be sub-standard. Now there will be different cuts and shades on parades and it will be an embarrassment. The ceremonial Scottish wear of kilts and trews should absolutely be made in Scotland."

The MSP tabled a motion last night before the Scottish Parliament asking for support and calling for MSPs to pressure the MoD to change its mind.

The Independent Companies of Highlanders first wore kilts as government troops in 1624. When they evolved into the Black Watch regiment in 1740, their great kilt uniform was standardised with a new dark tartan.

As the number of Highland regiments grew in the 18th century, they were given different tartans as a means of identification.

Scottish troops last wore kilts in combat during the First World War.

Roland Brett, the managing director of Robert Noble, said: "Tendering will take no account of the experience and investment we have with the ministry. All they are saying is 'give me a quote for this type of product'."

The firm has already produced up to 20 tartans for the MoD and even helped the department design a new tartan for the amalgamated Royal Regiment of Scotland.

An MoD spokesman insisted that the changes have been made in order to provide best value for the UK taxpayer and added that the new worsted fabric would be less "fluffy" in appearance.

The MoD contract will be directly between the kilt manufacturer and the MoD.

It is up to the producers of the garment to source the material at the cheapest possible price, making it more likely that it will come from abroad.

One and a half billion reasons why MoD is looking to save money
THE Ministry of Defence is notorious for its ability to spend money over budget.

It was reported to be £1.7 billion in debt in November 2004, in addition to a previous estimated £3 billion from 2003.

This wastefulness was due to the overspend on a project for Nimrod reconnaissance planes which went £408 million over budget.

This was in addition to the Eurofighter warplanes project which was £130 million over budget.

The cost of the Future Joint Combat Aircraft rose by £372 million and the overall cost of the top 20 projects has now reached £50 billion. One thousand battalions could be run for the same price, as the cost of running one infantry regiment such as the Black Watch is estimated at £17 million a year.

Related topics

British armed forces
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1034
The future of Scotland's regiments
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1207
Kilts
http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=806
This article: http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=278112006

Last updated: 23-Feb-06 09:42 GMT



Link Posted: 2/23/2006 10:20:47 AM EDT
BASTARDS !!
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 10:40:22 AM EDT
hee hee

Made in China. lol that would be funny.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 11:25:57 AM EDT
I'm all against that... unless they buy from an American textile firm.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 11:36:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sterling18:
hee hee

Made in China. lol that would be funny.



Actually...I just got off the phone with a customer from W. Yorkshire, which was formerly a big wool-producing area, and he says that some of the Yorkshire companies and other firms I get my wool for reenactment uniforms from, are indeed importing wool at a very cheap price from China, selling it under their names, and have discontinued any woolen manufacture in Britain. Too expensive to make it in Britain!

These same firms also sell wool to the British Army....
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 6:08:37 PM EDT
and now, just because someone said kilt:



yes, i also have a "real kilt" but this one is just so fun to wear.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 6:12:04 PM EDT
I just don't get the whole kilt thing. My ancestors wore pants so I never considered wearing a kilt myself. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 6:13:35 PM EDT


If it's not scottish, it's CRAP!
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 6:20:32 PM EDT
Agree that it'll be made in China but hey, where else can you get free labor from children who are working their way through kindergarten?

BTW, the N-D-Ns derisively called the English, Petticoat soliders. Then the Scots showed up and confirmed it (the Scots did badly in 1758 during Forbes' Expedition).
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 6:20:42 PM EDT
Napoleon_Tanerite....... Now that is one of the coolest names that I've seen here in my 6+ years.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 7:13:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4v50:
Agree that it'll be made in China but hey, where else can you get free labor from children who are working their way through kindergarten?

BTW, the N-D-Ns derisively called the English, Petticoat soliders. Then the Scots showed up and confirmed it (the Scots did badly in 1758 during Forbes' Expedition).







Link Posted: 2/23/2006 7:29:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2006 8:05:16 PM EDT by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By napalm:

Originally Posted By 4v50:
Agree that it'll be made in China but hey, where else can you get free labor from children who are working their way through kindergarten?

BTW, the N-D-Ns derisively called the English, Petticoat soliders. Then the Scots showed up and confirmed it (the Scots did badly in 1758 during Forbes' Expedition).










Injuns. But he leaves out what happened later on in the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) and Pontiac's Rebellion, where the Brits learned from the Indians and Colonials, and from Central European irregular troops to form the first dedicated British light infantry regiments, AND used their own Redcoat regiments properly against the French and Indians, trouncing them in 1759 at Quebec and then won all the way to 1764. The Scottish regiments tore into the Indians at Bushy Run, August 5th and 6th, 1763. The Indians fled from their bloodthirstiness. When well-led, Scots and English troops were and are the best in the world.

The French and Indian War- the only war named after the losers...


Black Watch charge at Bushy Run, 1763, by Don Troiani
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:54:45 AM EDT
Jings! There's nae end tae this!


Check this.. Army kilts could be made abroad
by
LISETTE JOHNSTON AND BILL JACOBS
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1034&id=276722006


REGIMENT: New cap badge. Picture: DAVID MOIR

SCOTS soldiers face having to wear traditional tartan kilts made in foreign countries after military chiefs vowed to put the contract to make them out to tender, it emerged today.

Borders weaving firm Robert Noble has produced the military tartan for Scotland's regiments since 1850 and weaves 12 designs.

But now the MoD has said the contract to weave the fabric for the Royal Regiment of Scotland must be put out to tender to ensure the best value for money, meaning a firm from outside Scotland could get it.

The tartan of the new regiment will be that currently worn by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

The order is for 15,000 metres of fabric, which could make up to 5000 kilts.

The Peebles firm, which employs 100 people, sends the fabric to a Yorkshire contractor which then supplies the MoD and so has not been informed directly of the tender plans.

Managing director Roland Brett said: "We have been doing the military tartan since 1850. During that period the Highland regiments have reduced in number but we have worked with the Army to amalgamate certain tartans.

"When the Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed the requirement for the number of kilts means there is going to be a contract of 15,000 metres of fabric but because of legislation it is going out to tender.

"I fully understand that, but we have given the MoD value for money for at least the past 30 years, our expertise is very important and it is part of our history.

"There is now a risk that the Scottish soldiers are going to be wearing a kilt that is not made in Scotland and a fabric that is not woven in Scotland. We have a Scottish industry and we are not supporting it."

An MoD spokesman said: "A small purchase of kilts has already been made in order to meet some early parade requirements for the Royal Regiment of Scotland and will be followed by the remainder of 5000 kilts required in due course.

"The choice of cloth was made following very careful consideration by the Scottish Division over the last 12 months .

"Procurement will now be carried out as required under public procurement regulations, which are applicable under United Kingdom and European Union law, and companies who can meet the regiments requirement whilst demonstrating best value for money for the UK taxpayer are encouraged to apply.

"This includes both previous cloth suppliers and the Scottish company who provided the initial small order."

Politicians today said the news "beggars belief" and called for the MoD to reverse its decision.

Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale MSP Jeremy Purvis said: "The very real prospect of the Ministry of Defence actually choosing a tender from potentially Bangalore or the Czech Republic for cheap tartan, solely because of the cost, beggars belief.

"This would be a slap in the face to the company in Peebles who have provided the highest quality woollen cloth for the regiments for generations.

"It would also be an outrageous insult to be added to the injury of abolishing the regiments."

Former Commanding Officer of the Royal Scots Colonel Martin Gibson said: "I think it would be very sad if the tartan were made outside Scotland.

"However, we have to accept that everything has a cost and when defence budgets are under pressure care has to be taken and tendering is the norm."

Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Michael Moore, who represented Nobles before boundary changes, said:

"We've already lost two Scottish regiments and losing the tartan contract would be a further blow to the area."

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